Best boat ramp/parking designs and features - Page 3 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-11-2019   #21
Monument, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 38
I think everybody who regularly uses ramps has hit all the major points. It's got to flow when the traffic gets heavy. Separate rigging, launching and parking areas-Clearly defined with signage.
Ramps that reach at low water.
Trash and toilet facilities.
A wide ramp for multiple launches simultaneously, as well as shoreline space for boats to stage for shuttles. Tie off points a bonus.
Somehow there has to be a way to teach people how to use ramps too.
Mainly...Don't rig up or break down, in the launch area and be considerate of others when launching and parking.

The Upper gunnison "Ramps" pretty much all suck.
The Upper C ramps are mostly decent. Some could use better shoreline space. It's just the amount of people that mess with those.
Afterbay on the bighorn is nice because it's so wide and has good staging and parking.
Cooper landing on the Kenai has good pull through and parking and a good ramp. Areas are separated.

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Old 04-12-2019   #22
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3
Okay, first of all kudos to the OP for actually taking the time to ask river runners this question.

I think the OP needs to look outside the state of Colorado for boat ramp and put-in take-out engineering. Utah Arizona comparatively have great structure and continuity when it comes to launches. Probably because they are so large and well managed.

I saw on a lot of other posts on this thread that people think there needs to be separate ramps for separate activities/crafts etc., and this is just plain flawed. Because many boaters/trips have multiple types of crafts.

Take State Bridge for example, they have a well marked 'tuber and small craft launch' (which a tuber only ramp ridiculous in its own right). So a busy day in July and family is @ the boat ramp(s), trying to launch/take-out a multiday trip. These trips typically have larger boats and duckies or kayaks etc. Now you have a multiday trip trying to de-rig/rig at multiple boat ramps. One trip is taking up 2+ ramps? Instead of being contained to one area, one trip is spread out everywhere. This happens all the time @ this boat ramp. And its so poorly managed it's usually chaos.

If separate boat ramps have a chance at working, they need to be separated and contained in a better fashion. (Spit-balling) separate private & commercial ramps might work.

Another post said boat ramps need to be large, and I agree, I think the post said, whatever your thinking double it. And they are right. Continuing State Bridge as an example, this boat ramp is tiny, and for whatever reason, 80% of the year, the boat ramp has current running over it.

The Upper Colorado has changed a lot in the last few years, and the boat ramps they have built do not reflect this change. We have commercial boaters and fishermen, 4x more private boaters, tubers, festival participants, etc. All these people are butting heads at boat ramps that are just too small.

Boat ramps need to have long, clearly marked lanes, so multiday trips have a staging areas in their lane, fishermen need to have places to rig, commercials need to have areas to gear up and safety talk guests. the only answer to all of these are space. Boat ramps need to be bigger(period). Sadly, unless permitted, rivers in Colorado are just going to get busier and more chaotic.

*edit* people obviously need to learn boat ramp etiquette. But lets be real, thats never going to happen, unless permitted and someones there to enforce and teach it. Some people suck, some people are just always going to want to roll a boat on the ramp or drink a beer and inflate their tube with their car on the ramp. Thats just gonna happen. either enforce it, or make more space.
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Old 04-12-2019   #23
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3
This probably should be its own thread. but this is on google earth...and its a pretty decent representation of a slow afternoon in June,July,Aug @ two bridges.

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Old 04-12-2019   #24
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 58
Put the outhouse as far downwind as possible from the ramp. I've been to a few access sites where the smell from the outhouses is enough to knock a buzzard off the gut wagon.

Changing areas with privacy screens are a very nice feature.

Drive through / back in ramps are nice.

Also a sign that says, "WARNING $10,000 fine for blocking the boat ramp" would be nice.
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Old 04-12-2019   #25
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by PoppyOscar View Post
+1 on rigging area, keeps the posers off the ramp so the rest of us can get in and out with our pre-rigged gear.

I assemble my frame, inflate, and rig my boat every damn time. Generally I back down, toss my gear to the side, get the truck the fuck out of way, and rig. I love when somebody "fully rigged" comes up and is riding my ass and then backs up their shit show after me. They'll start undoing straps, moving shit into their boat, dogs on the loose, etc. In the end they take 2-3x the time and space.

Point being there is all kinds of incompetent people, and some have the cash to roll up with a rigged trailer.

I think good organization and flow of the ramp make a nice one. Can't say I like the Westwater "rangers" barking orders at me though. Even if people need it.
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Old 04-12-2019   #26
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,571
Originally Posted by mtntime.avco View Post
This probably should be its own thread. but this is on google earth...and its a pretty decent representation of a slow afternoon in June,July,Aug @ two bridges.

Yeah, it's a crowd but at least gear's staged on the sides of the ramp and they're keeping a lane open. For a crowded access you could do a lot worse - this comes nowhere close to some of the shit shows I've seen.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-16-2019   #27
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,169
Originally Posted by missiongravity View Post
I take it you are in CO so perhaps you've never been on the Madison in MT. But there is a pretty well designed put it at the take-out for the Bear Canyon section of the Madison. If only people would follow the rules. There is a dedicated rigging lane so people can stage to launch, this launch lane leads directly to the ramp so that you are headed straight back when you turn out of the rigging lane. Then once you have dropped your boat you can pull straight out and in to one of the dedicated trailer parking spaces.

The main problem is keeping all of the summer tourons in tubes from parking wherever they want and blocking the ramp etc.

Here is a google maps link to the boat ramp. Pretty clear in the satellite image.

Google Maps Link

That access used to work better before they "fixed it" and it's a hell of a lot busier now. I agree the paving, parking, rigging lane all are nice, if people use their brains, but what I hate about virtually all montana accesses is FWP tries WAY to hard to minimize riparian impacts. The Warm Springs access (aka California corner also aka the one linked above) has a great 3 boat ramp (if people aren't selfish, which is rare) but then no where to park boats, it's a shit show when busy because the willow covered bank (riparian fringe) and relatively deep, swift current along the bank make it very difficult to spread boats out while people are parking or running shuttles. If FWP would just concede a 100 yards of riparian fringe and have tie up locations all along the parking lot (keep the fences, just allow people to move from the lot to the water minus the willows). Ironically, it used to be a simple gravel lot with no willow fringe, just a grassy bank right down to the water and it was way more user friendly.
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